What is Success?

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Ralph Waldo Emerson

In a recent post for our BJ Seminars International blog, The Sky is Falling, I finished with a quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson.

This reminded me of another piece, attributed to Emerson, entitled “Success”. I remember being inspired by it many years ago, so searched for it again. You may also have come across it in your travels:

To laugh often and much;
To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children;
To earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends;
To appreciate beauty,
To find the best in others,
To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child,
A garden patch or a redeemed social condition;
To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived.
This is to have succeeded.

But you may imagine my surprise, when searching on the web for these words, to learn that Emerson is not in fact the author!

[Read more…]


The Storyteller

Unshaved, unkempt,
black nails, black teeth
and an old, tattered coat.
You’d dismiss him as derelict
and walk straight past.
Yet when he spoke
eagles soared,
mountains talked
and I glimpsed infinity.
“I’m a storyteller”
he said.
His stories wove spells
of dreaming and meaning.
The universe expanded,
and I felt for a moment
that I touched its limits.
Spellbinder …
The essence of truth
lies perhaps in all three.


From Quiet Homes …

“From quiet homes and first beginning,
out to the undiscovered ends,
there’s nothing worth the wear of winning,
but laughter and the love of friends.”

Hilaire Belloc (1870-1953, British author)

A lovely quote, rediscovered when going through a pile of papers in my office.

And from my perspective, a great reminder about the really important things in life! :)


Stopped and Dropped

It’s strange how sometimes you can drop your bundle with something, and not really know why. For me, it’s been my “blogging bundle”.

Ok, so the month or two following my last post was filled to the brim with excitement, activity and hard work – so finding time to blog eluded me. Chris and I had an amazing trip to the Appreciative Inquiry conference in Kathmandu, Nepal in November.

(If you’re interested in seeing more about that and some image slideshows, you can visit our website.)

Prior to that I was flat out with my volunteer role on the online conference planning team for the conference. And after the trip, there were a gazillion things to be done in the lead up to the Christmas break.

But what about the month that has elapsed since then?

It’s as if the longer the gap, the harder it was to think of something to say. A strange sensation .. perhaps a case of the ‘inertia blues’?

But then, earlier this week, I gave myself a stern talking-to and was absolutely determined to return to my blog.

Before I could get into the more creative task of writing, however, there were several administrative jobs to do – not only with my blog, but our website, Chris’s blogs and the PCC site for which I’m webmaster. Those now done … whew! … so here I am at last.

Still with nothing earth-shattering to say, but never mind. :)  I said to a friend who had dropped a different bundle recently, “Just get started. Why not do something, however small, to get going again?” And for once I’m listening to my own good advice. :)

The experience reminded me of a wonderful Melbourne-based poet, Kristin Henry, whom I met way back in the 80s. In her book, Slices of Wry, she has the following poem. Apologies for the length … but I love it and thought I’d share it here.

At least I didn’t land on the floor at Myers. :) [Read more…]



gemsI was going through some old files and came across a poem I wrote a number of years ago about the joy of chance encounters.

It was written after a touring holiday, during which we stopped in a small country town called Carcoar in New South Wales.

Intending to stop for just a short break – to stretch our legs and enjoy the scenery – we came across a wee art gallery. A ‘brief chat’ with the artist became a fascinating four hour conversation with him and a friend of his! [Read more…]